Strategic Plan Executive Summary

Marshall University’s Division of Student Affairs prides itself in its long standing commitment to the enhancement of student learning through a variety of developmental services, programs, and activities, which foster the overall strengthening and support of students’ emotional, physical, and cognitive wellness. Therefore, in recognition of the importance of planning in developing programs and services, the Student Affairs unit established as a staff development goal – the development of a strategic plan based upon Good Practices in Student Affairs: Principles to Foster Student Learning by Gregory S. Blimling, Elizabeth Whitt and Associates.

The book’s model emphasizes seven principles. These include active learning, values and ethical standards, high expectations, systematic inquiry, effective utilization of resources, educational partnerships, and supportive and inclusive communities. These principles are a result of extensive research of college student’s experiences in higher education and form the basis for the strategic plan found on the following pages.

Our strategic plan will strengthen our effectiveness as a unit, promote student achievements, and enhance the institution’s overall commitment to student learning.

Student Affairs Will Engage Students in Active Learning By:

  • Creating an environment that provides opportunities for students to enhance decision-making skills, critical thinking, autonomy, and respect for self and others.
  • Fostering partnerships with faculty, staff, and community to better facilitate student learning through direct experience, leadership opportunities, and community service.

Student Affairs Will Help Develop Coherent Values and Ethical Standards By:

  • Adopting a creed that defines ethical standards and promotes academic integrity, respect for diversity, and the rights of others.
  • Developing or enhancing programs that teach and reward student accomplishments, leadership, and volunteerism.

Student Affairs Will Set and Communicate High Expectations for Learning By:

  • Developing a document that outlines standards for behavior.
  • Continuing programming that rewards students or groups who meet high expectations for learning.

Student Affairs Will Use Systemic Inquiry to Improve Student and Institutional Performance By:

  • Implementing a system to assess student needs and use results to develop or enhance programs that maximize student learning.
  • Establishing an assessment/evaluation unit to determine how effectively Student Affairs meets its objectives and impacts student learning in and out of the classroom.

Student Affairs Will Use Resources Effectively to Achieve Institutional Missions and Goals By:

  • Reviewing resources to determine support systems, complementary programs or challenges, and use this information to develop a vision statement.
  • Assessing and redefining the Student Affairs’ mission statement in order to continually support the institutional statement of philosophy.

Student Affairs Will Forge Educational Partnerships That Advance Student Learning By:

  • Establishing ties with key academic departments to further develop out-of-classroom learning opportunities.
  • Developing cross-functional teams to assist with the development of learning environments for students where shared educational goals will be affirmed.

Student Affairs Will Build Supportive and Inclusive Communities:

  • Establishing strong relationships with other supportive units to foster communication and develop integrated programs.
  • Creating or continuing programming that unites students and advocates for their inclusion in University planning and decision-making.